Tag Archives: Supervisor Terry Gonser

Trustee candidate Lana Mangiapane misrepresents “Meet and Greet” meeting. Can you trust her as an Oakland Township Trustee?

The May 17, 2016 “Meet and Greet’ event that Trustee candidate Lana Mangiapane (and an undefined ‘women’s group’) set up was not the unbiased event that she claimed it to be.  Aside from the brief comments from two of the three Supervisor candidates, it became a forum for Lana to present information supporting Supervisor Terry Gonser’s attempt at making his position a full time one in our Township.  The event did not present a balanced perspective on this important issue.  Lana is a candidate for Township Trustee this year.

On May 17, 2016 there was a “Meet and Greet” event that Trustee candidate Lana Mangiapane set up for Oakland Township citizens to meet this year’s Supervisor candidates for our Township.  She claimed it was set up by a woman’s group in the community.  The event was advertised in the “Community Lifestyles” newspaper that residents of Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township receive.  Even though she had presented the meeting as an unbiased political meeting, the event ended up being a political campaign event for Terry Gonser.  Lana’s presentation was supportive of Terry Gonser’s desire to become a “Strong Supervisor” for Oakland Township.  Lana did not provide a counter perspective on the issue that is shared by the two other candidates for Supervisor.

Terry Gonser attended the entire meeting.  Andy Zale were able to attend a portion of the meeting.  He had another Township meeting he had to attend, so he left shortly after introducing himself and giving a short speech.  Mike Bailey had a previous commitment and was unable to attend.

After Andy and Terry made their introductory comments, Andy left.   Lana then gave a 10 minute presentation on the history of the Supervisor position in Oakland Township. The presentation focused on the fact that Oakland Township does not have a “Strong Supervisor” form of governance.  Supervisor Gonser has spent the last 3 plus years trying to change Oakland Township’s form of governance into one where his position would be a full time position.  He would eliminate the professionally trained municipal manager that runs the day to day operations in the Township.

The current Board has repeatedly rejected Gonser’s attempt to change the existing structure of our Township.  Lana’s presentation was clearly attempting to influence the public into thinking that what we have is not appropriate for our Township. She did not provide a balance perspective that would have included the reasons the current Board used to justify why our current structure is in the best interest of our Township.

After Lana gave her presentation, I asked her if there would be a venue where the other perspective on the issue could be presented. She responded by saying:

“Today this presentation . . . it was just the information that was printed that we presented.”

She went on to say:

“This may be something that we take up at one of the meetings.”

Prior the ‘Meet and Greet”, there were attempts by others to get clarification of who were members of the the “womens group” that organized the event and when they met.  Lana refused to provide any information.

After the formal presentation, I asked Lana who prepared the presentation. She responded by saying:

“It was given to me by someone.”

I then asked her who gave it to her.  She refused to give me the name of the person, and then walked away.

On May 18th, one of the attendees posted a comment on this website’s Home Page regarding his attempt at getting a copy of the Lana’s presentation.  Here is a copy of his comment.  You can also read it under the Home Page comments.

“Yesterday I attended the Meet the Candidates for Township Supervisor. I found the presentation to be very informative and was hoping to have an electronic copy for my notes. I was told that I needed to put ‘Candidate’ next to my name on the signup sheet and I would have a copy emailed to me. When I went to go back to the signup sheet, the sheets were taken up and put somewhere. When I went back to the person who told me to add ‘Candidate’ she said that I was not allowed to have a copy of the presentation. Transparency and Accountability were two key words used and yet these actions do not support either…”

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  This summer’s election will have profound effects on Oakland Township’s future.  The issue of whether Oakland Township should have a “Strong Supervisor” form of governance has become a central issue in this year’s Supervisor’s race.  Supervisor Gonser has been trying to change the structure of Oakland Township for over 3 years. He wants his position to be a full time position, where he would take over all administrative responsibilities in our Township, including managing the many technical municipal management items for which he has no experience.  The other two Supervisor candidates do not support that position.  They want to keep the current structure, where the Supervisor and the Board rely on a trained professional municipal manager to run the day to day operations of the Township, with direction from the entire Board.

It appears there are a number of Trustee candidates, including Lana Mangiapane, who agree with Terry Gonser’s desire for a ‘Strong Supervisor’.  If a majority of these candidates get elected, they will change the structure of our Township.

Lana’s attempts to use the “Meet and Greet” forum as a campaign event for Terry Gonser’s ‘platform plank’, while implying the the meeting as an unbiased political event, convinced me that she is not trustworthy enough to gain my vote.  Her refusal to disclose:

  • who the ‘women’s group’ are,
  • who put the presentation together,
  • who gave her the presentation

were further examples of her lack of transparency.

To quote the person who posted a comment on our Home Page,

“Transparency and Accountability were two key words used and yet these actions do not support either…”

Here is a link to a  previous post that references the “Strong Supervisor’ discussions that have occurred at past Board meeting.

Oakland Township’s ‘Manager’ or ‘Superintendent’ form of governance is growing in popularity in State

Since this is an important issue for the citizens of Oakland Township to consider when they vote on August 2nd, the editors of this website will reach out to each of the Trustee candidates to ask them to express their position on this important issue.  Hopefully we will get responses from all of them.

Richard Michalski

Oakland Township’s ‘Manager’ or ‘Superintendent’ form of governance is growing in popularity in State

As many of you are aware, Supervisor Gonser, and former Trustee Maureen Thalmann, made repeated attempts at changing Oakland Township’s structure from a “Manager” form of governance to a “Strong Supervisor” form of governance.  He and Maureen wanted to change the Supervisor position to a full time position and eliminate the full time professional manager position.  The Supervisor would assume all of the day to day operations in the Township with assistance from a part time support person.

At the April 12, 2016 BOT meeting, Clerk Karen Reilly reported that many Township’s in the state are moving away from the ‘Strong Supervisor” form of governance to what we currently have in Oakland Township.  

Here is a video of Karen Reilly’s comments:

There have been many previous articles posted on this website regarding Supervisor Goner’s attempts at changing the structure of our Township.  Many of them cover the reasons why our current ‘Manager’ structure is preferred, and why Supervisor Gonser’s actions are reasons why a “Strong Supervisor” form of governance is not in Oakland Township’s best interest. Other communities are apparently coming to the same conclusion.

Here are links to previous posts on this topic:

2013

2014

2015

The above articles make it clear why other communities are moving AWAY FROM their “Strong Supervisor” structures TO what Supervisor Gonser considers a “bizarre and unworkable” form of governance.  Maybe the ‘bizarre and unworkable’ adjectives apply to Supervisor Gonser, as former Township manager Warren Brown suggested in his resignation statement noted above.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  Supervisor Gonser is planning on running for reelection this summer and fall.  Although he did not disclose his desire to change how Oakland Township is structured prior to his election in 2012, his actions over the past few years make it clear what his intentions were and continue to be.

Between now and the primary elections this summer, there will certainly be discussions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of governance.  I recommend you read some of the previous postings listed above to familiarize yourself with why we have our current ‘Manager’ form of governance.

It is very interesting that other communities are moving away from what Supervisor Gonser is proposing.  Our current structure has helped create our outstanding community.  It appears other communities are beginning to see the wisdom of our ways.

Please consider Terry Gonser’s position on this in the upcoming summer election.

Richard Michalski

Editorial Comment: Candidates for Oakland Township Supervisor

As many of you know, this website has two editors, Jim Foulkrod and myself (Richard Michalski). Generally we agree on most topics. One clear example of this, shared with many in our Township, is that our current Supervisor, Terry Gonser, cannot be re-elected as Supervisor due to the many inappropriate things he has done while Supervisor. A long documented list of these actions can be reviewed in the following post:

Post summarizing the many examples of Terry Gonser’s ‘ethics’ while in office.

However, Jim and I disagree on who is most qualified to be our next Supervisor. I would like to share with you my reasons why I think Mike Bailey is the most qualified candidate. I will also make a suggestion that may help achieve our mutual goal of ensuring Terry Gonser does not get re-elected in a three person race.

In one of my previous posts, I listed qualities I felt were important in our next Supervisor. Here they are again:

  • Township experience, especially in Township planning
  • Knowledge of how our Township works,
  • An understanding of the issues we are facing,
  • Personal involvement in resolving the many issues,
  • No desire to change our form of governance
  • No desire to use the Supervisor position as a jumping point for higher political positions

I will comment on each of these as they relate to Terry Gonser, Andy Zale and Mike Bailey.

Township experience

Terry Gonser got elected with no Township governance experience. He won the support of many because he was an outspoken advocate on several volatile issues our Township faced in 2012. Many former supporters now admit that they had not properly vetted Terry. His lack of Township governance experience contributed to the massive dysfunction in our Township over the past term.

Andy Zale was elected in 2012 as a Parks & Recreation Commissioner. He was selected as the Commission’s chairperson. He has done a marvelous job chairing the often-contentious meetings. However, Andy has not participated, or made his opinions known on the many issues our Township has faced over the past 4 years. He has only participated in Township Board meetings when there were Parks issues that needed to be addressed.

Mike Bailey has been personally involved in our Township for 28 years. He and I shared many of them on the Planning Commission. Much of what we see and love in our Township is due to the great planning that has occurred. Mike has been an integral part of that. More recently, he has been on the Township Board, and has continued to serve our community in a positive manner.

 Knowledge of how our Township works

Supervisor Gonser came into office with no knowledge of how our Township works. Two groups of employees in our Township joined unions during his tenure, the Firefighters and the Parks and Recreation employees. Their decision was the direct result of the actions of Terry Gonser and others on the Board. Many talented staff members, who helped create our great Township, left their positions during his term in office and now serve other communities.

Andy Zale is gaining an understanding of how our Township works; however, his Parks experience is only one small piece of our Township. More experience will help him.

Mike on the other hand has worked with all the departments involved in our Township as a Planning Commissioner and Trustee. He knows why our Township has benefitted from having a professional Township Manager over the years (more on this issue later).

Understanding of the issues we are facing

Terry Gonser certainly has a good understanding of the issues facing our Township. He has contributed in creating many of them. We have not been able to solve many longstanding issues because valuable time has been lost searching for a Township manager that could work with, and around, Terry’s authoritarian, omnipotent and omniscient behavior.

As stated earlier, Andy is on a learning curve. In discussions with others who have been talking with Andy, he is attempting to get an understanding of the issues, and he needs to be complemented for his efforts.

On the other hand, Mike needs no ‘ramping up’. As an existing Board member, he is ‘in the know’ on all of the major issues facing our Township.

Personal involvement in resolving current issues

Certainly, as the Township Supervisor, Gonser should be involved in resolving our issues. However, his solutions and positions on issues are often the ‘minority position’ on the Board. Differences of opinion are good, however, voters should review Terry’s position on many of the votes that have taken place.  Our other elected representative officials often do not agree with his positions, or where he would take us.

Andy has done a great job in resolving issues on the Parks and Recreation Commission. He has not gotten involved in many other issues in our Township.

Mike has, and is, actively participated in many of the subcommittees that the Board has established to deal with issues facing our Township. He has also participated in many volunteer efforts representing out Township such as ‘clean scene’.

No desire to change our Township’s form of governance

Terry Gonser, and former Trustee Maureen Thalmann, wasted many hours at Township Board meetings trying to convince the Board that we should have a ‘Stong Supervisor’ form of governance in our Township. This would eliminate the full time professional Township administrator, and have the Supervisor be the full time person who would make the day-to-day administrative decisions in our Township. Terry never disclosed his desire to change our Township’s form of governance prior to being elected.

In my initial conversation with Andy Zale, before he announced his candidacy for Supervisor, I asked him his position on having a ‘Strong Supervisor’ or a ‘Manager’ form of government in Oakland Township. His response was “I can see the benefits of both.”   He would not take a position on this matter at that time. More recently, when asked the question again, he indicated that he supported the ‘Manager’ form of governance, but added, “I have spoken with Orion Township Supervisor Barnett, and see the benefits of that form of governance.” Andy added that he had a full time job, and would not be able to be a full time Supervisor. From my standpoint, this is almost a disqualifying position on the matter. Having personally listened to the many arguments on both sides of this issue in Township Board meeting, Andy’s ambiguity on this issue indicated that he did not yet understand Oakland Township’s governance needs. Fortunately, he has now taken the position that he does not support the ‘Strong Supervisor’ form of governance. More exposure to how our Township works will hopefully solidify his position on this matter.

Mike not only understands the benefits of having a profession Township manager, but has strongly stated he is opposed to the ‘Strong Supervisor’ form of governance.

No desire to use the Supervisor position as a political jumping off point

Others have told me that Terry Gonser had, and may still have, ambitions for running for higher public offices. I cannot confirm this, but I have heard it from a number of individuals. My opinion is that our elected officials need to focus on the job they were elected to fill. All energy should be spent on serving the will of their electorate; not taking actions that would be self-serving for future political desires.

In a recent conversation I had with Andy, he indicated that his first choice was to run for State Representative. Others told him that he did not have the experience, and needed more time in an elected position at the local level. That is why he chose to run for Township Supervisor.

In a recent conversation I had with Mike, he confirmed that he had no aspirations to higher elected office. He wanted to spend time helping Oakland Township move forward in a manner that maintains the beauty and character that has made it the place we all love to live.

EXPERIENCE MATTERS!

WE KNOW WHAT WE HAVE WITH MIKE BAILEY!

 

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township, and what can you do about it? Our Township cannot afford to have another four year of Terry Gonser as our Supervisor. We currently have two additional candidates, Andy Zale and Mike Bailey. Either would be a significant improvement over Terry Gonser.

With three candidates in the running, the potential for Gonser to win increases. Several citizens have commented that if Terry wins, we would lose the valued services of both Andy and Mike.

I have expressed my opinion as to whom I prefer for Supervisor. You may or may not agree, but if you agree that either would be better for our Township than Terry Gonser, and you would like to see both Andy and Mike continue to serve our Township, I suggest you visit the following websites, and email your preferred candidate letting him know of your support AND also email the other candidate, encouraging him to run for Trustee. We do need both of these valued individuals serving our Township.  Please send your emails soon, so Andy or Mike can revise their decision regarding which office to run for prior to the filing deadline of April 19th.

We cannot afford to loose the service of both.

Here are their websites:

Andy Zale                   http://www.AndyZale.com

Mike Bailey                http://www.MikeBaileySupervisor.com

Thank You!

Richard Michalski

 

 

 

 

 

Supervisor Gonser announces his plans to run again

Current Supervisor Terry Gonser had a campaign ‘kick-off’ event on March 3, 2016 at the WestWynd Grill for his plans to run for re-election as Supervisor.  He is the third candidate who has announced for that position.  The other two announcements are Mike Bailey and Andy Zale.

2016 KICKOFF INVITATION PDF

Richard Michalski

 

IMPORTANT: Draft Ordinance controlling Oil and Gas drilling in Oakland Township in jeopardy

The efforts of our Township Board to control the location of oil and gas drilling operations in Oakland Township may be impacted by a memo from the Michigan DEQ.  The DEQ’s position is in response to a request from Supervisor Gonser.   As you may recall, Supervisor Gonser was opposed to moving forward with the Ordinance at the January BOT meeting.  The outcome of Oakland Township’s proposed Ordinance may be in jeopardy.

As previously reported on this website, the Oakland Township Board is considering an Ordinance to control the location of Oil and Gas drilling in Oakland Township.  A second reading of that Ordinance is schedule for the February 9, 2016 Board meeting.  Supervisor Gonser had previously expressed concerns over the Township’s authority to control oil and gas drilling. He voted against moving forward with the draft ordinance.  He contacted the DEQ and asked for their input.  Mr. Harold Fitch, the Assistant Supervisor of wells and Chief office of Oil and Gas & Minerals responded by saying:

“As demonstrated by the definitions (in the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act), the DEQ considers a broad range of operations as subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supervisor of wells and not subject to regulations by Township’s or Counties.”

He basically is saying we, as a Township, do not have any control over the location or operation of oil and gas drilling in our Township.

Here is a copy of his entire response to Supervisor Gonser’s request:

February 2, 2016 DEQ letter

Other communities have been struggling with this issue.  Townships have less control over oil and gas drilling operations than cities. However, Rochester Hills has been involved in recent disputes over their authority to control drilling in their city.  More recently, Southfield has been dealing with this issue.  Here are two current links to the Southfield issue:

Southfield Public meeting on Oil and Gas Drilling in their community

Rep. Jeremy Moss (Southfield) bill to control Oil and Gas Drilling locations

Here is a copy of our draft ordinance:

Janaury 12, BOT meeting agenda and Oil:Gas draft ordinance

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  Oakland Township may not have much control over oil and gas drilling in our community.  However, we should pursue as much control as possible within the constraints of the law.  At the January BOT meeting, our Township attorney and planning consultants both agreed with what is being proposed in the draft ordinance.  I trust that Supervisor Gonser’s requested input from the DEQ does not change their position on the proposed ordinance.

So what can we do:

  • Attend the February 9, 2016 Board meeting to express your opinion after listening to the discussion by our Township Attorney, Planning Consultant and Board members.
  • If not able to attend the February 9th meeting, watch the proceedings on the Township website, or Comcast cable channel, to learn more about this issue.
  • Contact your State representatives (Michael Webber <michaelwebber@house.mi.gov> or Brad Jacobsen <bradjacobsen@house.mi.gov>) asking them to support Representative Moss’ bill allowing more local control over oil and gas drilling locations.

Richard Michalski

 

UPDATE: Township Board approves first read of Oil and Gas Structure ordinance

At the January 12, 2016 Oakland Township Board meeting, the ‘first read’ of the proposed Oil and Gas Structure Ordinance was approved.  There were several citizens that commented on the draft ordinance.  Supervisor Gonser was the sole dissenting vote.  He wanted to get input from the State and the DNR to get their perspective on how defensible the ordinance would be.

The second read of the Ordinance, and the vote on approval of the Ordinance, is on the agenda for the February 9, 2016 BOT meeting.

Here is a link to the most recent post on this subject:

URGENT REQUEST: Please attend January 12 Board meeting if concerned about Oil and Gas Drilling in Oakland Township

Thanks to all those that attended the meeting!

Richard Michalski

URGENT REQUEST: Please attend January 12 Board meeting if concerned about Oil and Gas Drilling in Oakland Township

Shelby well rig (1)

As previously reported on this website, the Oakland Township Board and Planning Commission agreed to develop an ordinance that would minimize the impact of Oil and Gas drilling in Oakland Township, while protecting individual property rights and still be compliant with Michigan regulations.  The Planning Commission has spent several months working on a draft ordinance.  The draft ordinance was discussed at the December 8, 2015 Township Board meeting.  At that meeting the Board agreed, in a 6 to 1 vote, that the ‘first read’ of the ordinance would take place at the January 12, 2016 Board meeting.  Supervisor Gonser was the single dissenting vote.  He wanted to take more time to study the draft ordinance.  

Public input at Tuesday’s meeting is critical.  It will ensure the Board understands the level of citizen support, and any concerns you may have with the draft ordinance.

PLEASE ATTEND THIS MEETING IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE IMPACT OF OIL AND GAS DRILLING IN OUR COMMUNITY! 

                                              DATE:     TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2016

                                             TIME:  7 PM      

                                             LOCATION: OAKLAND TOWNSHIP HALL – 4393 COLLINS RD.

HERE IS A COPY OF THE AGENDA & DRAFT ORDINANCE THAT WAS POSTED ON TOWNSHIP WEBSITE ON JANUARY 8:

Janaury 12, BOT meeting agenda and Oil:Gas draft ordinance

A lobbyist for the Petroleum industry was at the December 8, 2015 BOT meeting and attempted to influence the Board members.  His arguments for why Oakland Township should not pass a local ordinance controlling oil and gas drilling were:

  • Just because other communities have an ordinance is not a reason for Oakland Township to have one
  • There are no pending oil or gas drilling permits in Oakland Township
  • State law controlling oil and gas drilling is preferable
  • There will be administrative costs associated with an ordinance
  • Local Auto manufacturers are benefiting from the sale of big profitable SUV’s and trucks due to low oil and gas prices
  • There are many people currently laid off in oil industry due to low oil and gas prices
  • There may be legal challenges (and associated costs) as a result of an ordinance
  • There is no ‘fracking’ in Oakland County
  • Legal challenges could be based on ‘property rights taking’
  • Oil and gas drilling ON STATE PROPERTIES generates revenue for the Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund (MNRTF)
  • Oakland Township has been recipient of grant funds from the MNRTF

Here are previous articles posted on this website regarding this topic:

Supervisor Gonser opposes Township establishing ordinance to minimize impact of oil and gas drilling in Oakland Township

Oakland Township Board implements 6 month moratorium on new oil or gas drilling in Oakland Township

“Oil and Gas Drilling” is on July 14, 2015 Oakland Township Board meeting agenda

Results of June 23, 2015 BOT discussion on Oil and Gas drilling in Oakland Township

UPDATE: Oil and Gas well sites in Oakland Township and Surrounding Communities

JUNE 21st UPDATE: Is Drilling for Oil and Gas coming to Oakland Township? Please attend June 23 Board meeting!

JUNE 17th UPDATE: Is Drilling for Oil and Gas coming to Oakland Township (Church property)?

Is Drilling for Oil and Gas coming to Oakland Township?

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  Even though the likelihood of new oil and gas drilling is currently low due to the low cost of oil and gas prices, our community needs to take whatever action is within our legal authority to protect our community from future undesirable oil and gas drilling, while protecting individual property rights.

Richard Michalski

January 8, 2016